These are the songs that wake me up, take me out of my worries and anxieties, wash my brain cells, and send me to the keyboard to write with new vigor.
1. "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi
This is a song I associate with my beloved vampire hero, Lestat, today. I imagine Lestat loving it, singing it and playing it on his guitar. I see him riding his Harley, listening to it on his iPhone through his ear buds. I listened to it morning after morning before going to my desk to work on Prince Lestat. It shakes me up, sends me to work with optimism and spirit.
2. "Living on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi
Another great hit that I find inspiring. Again, when I hear this, I see my hero, Lestat, singing and dancing with the Bon Jovi sound.
3. "I Hate Myself for Loving You" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Love the pounding beat of this and Joan Jett's powerful voice. Listening to this one always gets my creative juices going. Good for the shower in the morning.
4. "Do You Want to Touch?" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Another great hit. I could fill this entire list with Joan Jett alone.
5. "L.A. Woman" by The Doors
This to me is one of the greatest rock songs ever written. In 1983, when I was writing The Vampire Lestat, it was this song that inspired the rock concert scenes in the book.
6. "Help Me Make It through the Night" by Sammi Smith
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And other versions. This song was my favorite during some of the darkest, most difficult times of my life.
7. "Bridge over Troubled Waters" by Simon & Garfunkel
One of the most comforting and beautiful popular songs ever written. Soothing and sustaining.
8. "You Got It" by Roy Orbison
Roy's four-octave voice is one of the most beautiful popular voices of the last century. And this is one of his smoothest, most enchanting songs. The quality of Roy's voice is part of the beauty here, and the song itself is filled with Orbison's loving and generous spirit.
9. "That Loving Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers
Their huge voices and this huge song will always be one of my favorites. They made history with this one.
10. "Undercover Agent for the Blues" by Tina Turner
I adore Tina Turner and everything she does, and this is one of her most haunting songs. Just hypnotic! I play it over and over and over. The lyrics are poetry; the rhythm is intoxicating.
11. "Barbara Allen" by Art Garfunkel
This is an old and haunting English and Scottish ballad, and I think Garfunkel's version here is beatific. I listen to this often — when I need a break from everything.
12. "My Heart Will Go On" (Theme Song from Titanic) sung by Frank Patterson, the great Irish tenor
Frank Patterson is simply my favorite popular tenor of all time. I have all of his CDs. His delivery of this song is perfection.